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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Southside Easter: 1941

Southside Easter: 1941

April 1941. "Negro boys on Easter morning, Southside Chicago." Acetate negative by Russell Lee, Farm Securoty Administration. View full size.

 

1938 Pontiac

The car in the photo is a 1938 Pontiac.

Masterpiece

I have the picture on my wall too. Second is Ansel Adams moonrise in San Hernandez. Which one is better. Both are brilliant. Pekka Finland.

Re. Buttoning custom

The younger boy's button configuration is the same as women's buttoning, because young kids didn't dress themselves. They had help. Just like women of high status were dressed by a servant back in the day. Anyway, I love the hip style of the kids in this great photo.

That lanyard thing

It's called a "wind trolley" -- keeps your hat from flying down the street if the wind knocks it off your head. Attaches to your lapel somehow. The other thing looks like a flower.

Love at first sight

I actually saw this picture at the Magic City Classic in Birmingham, Alabama in 2007. One of the vendors had it, but it was overpriced so I left it there. My husband bought it for me for Christmas that same year. I fell in love with "my boys" (as I call them) as soon as I laid eyes on them. I would love to know their background.

Buttoning custom

I noticed the two boys with the patterned suits (No. 2 & 4 from the left) have buttoned their jackets right to left. Did it simply matter less then as it should now but doesn't?

[There is no choice when it comes to suit-buttoning. It depends on how the suit is made -- whether the buttons are on the left or the right. - Dave]

Who are they?

I loved this picture for years. My grandmother has hung this pic on her wall till her death and she used to always preach to her grandsons, make this pic an inspiration in your life and she used to tell her granddaughters to find men of this example. I just want to know who these men are and what are they doing.

Southside Easter

I saw this in a photo gallery this past weekend. It was with an article called "WVON Bronzeville Mystery Photo," referencing a contest by a radio station to identify the boys. I don't remember everything it said, but seems like it mentioned there is only one of them still alive.

South Side Boys

I fell in love with this picture as soon as I saw it. I have it on my wall centered with a black and white of Miles Davis on one side and John Coltrane on the other (both back in the day) I would love nothing more than to find out who these boys are. Everytime someone comes into my home that is the first thing I am asked. If anyone has information relating to the identity of these boys who are now MEN, please forward to thattallnsexy1@yahoo.com! Thanks!

Hat Preserver

I believe it was called a hat preserver. I've seen pictures of Edwardian gents wearing roughly the same thing. It's a lanyard to catch your hat if it's blown off, thus keeping it from getting filthy in the street.

Carnation

The boy on the left, with the glasses: what is the wire that seems to be coming from his hat to his lapel, and what is that thing on his lapel?

Chicago Easter

I have this picture on my wall - and it tells a story of a million words, every time I look at this picture, I always have something different to say. It melts my heart, this picture is truly a classic, I love it ... my whole living room is focused around this pic. I wish I knew what happened to these boys.

Southside Boys, Chicago 1941

The boy in the center in Congressman Bobby Rush of Chicago.

[I don't think so. Bobby Rush was born in 1946, five years after this photo was taken. - Dave]

Hats?!?

Great! You don't even see grown men these days with classic hats and these kids have snappy fedoras... love this shot.

Masterpiece

The boy in the center is a rebel and a leader. His coat is unbuttoned, the small boys know how to behave. What a style. I have a copy of this picture in my wall.

the boys are uncommon

I think out of the group, i know one boy; have seen him some where !

love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got this picture for a steal framed (huge size, not sure of dimensions) for $30.00 in downtown Detroit at our farmer's market. I had walked by it monthes before and was sorry I didn't get it then. Now it is in my home...I call them "my boys".

I love it too

One year ago I was wisiting in Stockholm and I see this picture in Old Picture store in very big print and I was amazing! At last weekend I go to the same store again, just to see this photo again...I looked it very long time, thinking about these boys, the time...wau! It tells more than thousand words!

Peik Salonen/Finland

Love this

This is definitely a classic picture. Love it :-)

On my wall

This great picture is one of the most prominent on my wall right now!

Have these boys ever been recognized?

Does anyone know who these boys are and whatever happened to them?

It's my favorite

It's my favorite (Blue Thunder -Chicago)

That is a great pic

Wonderful ... the clothes, the car. Brilliant.

[I agree. There is definitely something to be said for dressing up. - Dave]

 
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